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How to troubleshoot issues with a Robotic Library (autoloader/changer) and/or Tape Drive(s)

Created: 15 Jan 2013 • Updated: 15 Jan 2013 • 1 comment
Donald Eady's picture
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Alright… So just got that brand new or not so brand new Robotic Library (Autoloader/Changer) and or Tape Drive(s). Still bubble wrap / ship safe fresh, just unpacked and attached to the server and bam.. here comes the brick wall. The storage device is not displaying or perhaps the tape drives or libraries show up offline or worse yet they are not found, recognized or detected at all. What do you do? Well you have a couple of options you can spin once counter clockwise, blink your left eye, wiggle the mouse frantically, right click and see if its working now. Or you can take the suggested approach and follow this informative right down the golden paved road to the promise land of problem resolution.

From time to time hardware that despite being officially tested and supported by Symantec might show as offline, display incorrectly within the console, function outside of the way it was intended and or throw errors within the B.E. job log or windows event viewer.  Luckily there is a solution to every problem and found below is a step by step for the resolution of this one.

Perform the following procedures in the order listed below:

1.    Verify that the O.S. properly detects the device

2.    Download the Backup Exec Hardware Compatibility list

3.    Download and run the Backup Exec Support Tool

4.    Stop and disable the windows Removable Storage Service (RSM) “Windows Server 2003/XP only”

5.    Review the System Event logs for hardware errors

6.    Verify that latest Symantec drivers are installed for the device

7.    Verify that the devices firmware is up to date

8.    Uninstall any third-party apps that control the tape device

9.    If troubleshooting a robotic library

·         Ensure that M.S. default drivers are installed for the Medium Changer

·         Enable Robotic library support (B.E. 2010 and earlier)

10.  Use the Discover tool to troubleshoot hardware errors or reservation conflicts

11.  Troubleshoot SCSI issues

·         Verify that the SCSI changer service is running

·         Use Tracer.exe to perform a SCSI trace while restarting B.E. services

12.  Detect and uninstall any orphaned devices

13.  Disable, delete, redetect and re-enable the device within the console

14.  Contact Symantec Technical Support for further assistance.

Continue below for further explanation……

 

Verify that the O.S. properly detects the device

This is going to be the proverbial fork in the road as if windows can’t even detect the device then backup exec hasn’t a chance to do so. Browse to the device manager and verify that the device is in fact listed properly, if it is continue on down the troubleshooting path listed below… if it isn’t this issue must be remedied prior to tackling any B.E. issues in relation to this device. See document below for assistance. http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH200801

Download the Backup Exec Hardware Compatibility list

So the O.S. is able to accurately view the device that great but we still need to verify that the officially supported, that the inquiry string matches the HCL and that the connection method being used to connect the device to the server is supported. Provided below is a link to a tech document that will give you access to the HCL for your version of Backup Exec.

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/adminguides-scls-hcls-backup-exec-all-versions

Download and run the Backup Exec Support Tool

The Symantec Backup Exec Support Tool is a utility designed to quickly and efficiently diagnose common issues encountered with Backup Exec. The tool can be used either to diagnose the majority of problems that you may encounter so keep this link handy” Link below”. Specifically it will

·          Review the System Event Logs for hardware errors

·          Verify that robotic library support is enabled (Backup Exec 2010 and earlier)

·          Verify that the SCSI Changer service is started

·          Verify that the Removable Storage Service (RSM) is stopped and disabled

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH135126

Stop and disable the windows Removable Storage Service (RSM)

As mentioned above the B.E. Support Tool can verify that the RSM is stopped and disabled, but what exactly is that. The Removable Storage Manager (RSM) facilitates communication among applications, robotic changers, and media libraries. It enables multiple applications to share local robotic media libraries and tape or disk drives, and manage removable media within a single-server system. In a nut shell its controlling the communication robotic library/ where backup exec wants/needs to.

Review the System Event logs for hardware errors

The support tool should have caught and displayed any event log errors but in the event that this step was skipped the logs should be reviewed for errors. Review for any hardware errors with event ID 5/7/9/11/15. View link provided for document that explains these errors in greater detail.

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH199400

Verify that the latest Symantec drivers are installed for the device

Be sure to use Symantec device drivers for your specific tape drive.

Symantec does not test performance or compatibility with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) drivers, unless noted in the B.E. HCL.

Ø  Note: If you run LiveUpdate regularly, or if you have the latest Backup Exec Service Pack or Hotfix installed, your Backup Exec installation should have the latest tape device drivers. If not, click Backup Exec tape device drivers > Drivers, for a list of tape device drivers available for download.

Ø  Next: Use Tapeinst.exe to install the tape device driver. Tapeinst.exe is located on the Symantec Backup Exec installation disc and is copied to the hard disk during installation. The default location is:  \Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec.

Ø  Then: Navigate to Device manager to verify that Symantec tape device drives were installed for the tape drive, as follows:
For Windows 2008: Right-click Computer > Manage, expand Server Manager > Diagnostics, then select Device Manager.
For Windows 2003: Right-click My Computer > Manager, expand Computer Management, then select Device Manager.

Ø  Finally: In Device Manager, locate the tape driver, and right-click Properties.

o   Click the Driver tab, and verify that the driver provider is Symantec.

Verify that the devices firmware is up to date

Verify that the latest device drivers are installed for the HBA. You can contact the hardware manufacturer for the latest firmware for the tape drive or robotic library, and for the latest firmware and device drivers for the Host Bust Adapter(HBA).

Uninstall any third-party apps that control the tape device

This kind of touches back on the RSM discussion. Backup Exec may not be able to communicate properly with tape devices if another vendor's backup application is installed, even if the services for that application are disabled.

Do not install tape diagnostic tools when Backup Exec Services are running.

Remove the tape diagnostic tools after the diagnostic tests are complete.

1.    Click Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs (or Programs and Features)

2.    Select the third-party backup application or tool, and then click Uninstall.

3.    Repeat for all third-party backup applications or tools.

If troubleshooting a robotic library

If you are using multiple tape drives within a Robotic Library, you may require a Library Expansion Option (LEO) license.

·         Backup Exec 2010 and later versions include support for a single tape drive in every robotic library and support for multiple stand-alone tape drives.

.

Use the Discover tool to troubleshoot hardware errors or reservation conflicts

The Discover tool outputs detailed attributes of backup devices that are attached to the server.

1.    Stop the Backup Exec services.

2.    Navigate to the Backup Exec installation directory. The default location is C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec.

3.    To run the tool and create a text output, at a command prompt, run the following command:
Discover.exe > C:\discover.txt

4.    See the provided link for information on how to read the output from Discover.exe

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH87501

Troubleshoot SCSI issues

These issues should have been identified in the running of the support tool but in the event that it was skipped please view the following.

1.    Click Start, and in the search box, type msinfo32, and then press Enter.

2.    In the System Information dialog, expand Software Environment, and then click System Drivers.

3.    Scroll down and locate the SCSIChanger service, and then verify that the Status=Running

 

 

Detect and uninstall any orphaned devices

View the provided link for document detailing how to do so “Complete with screen shots”

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH87036

Disable, delete, redetect and re-enable the device within the console

1.    n the Backup Exec console, go to Devices/Storage tab.

2.    Right-click the device, and then select Disable. (For Backup Exec 2010 and earlier, select Enable to remove the check mark; when the check box is clear, the device is disabled.)

3.    Right-click the device, and then select Delete.
A prompt to move the backup jobs to other devices or device pools may appear (For Backup Exec 2012, this appears as Retarget Jobs).
Note the jobs that are affected and move the jobs back to the original device after resolving the issue with the device.

4.    Stop the Backup Exec services.

5.    Navigate to X:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec, and then run Tapeinst.exe. (X: is the drive where Backup Exec is installed)

6.    In the Symantec Device Driver Installed dialog, select the following options:
- Use Symantec tape drivers for all supported tape devices
- Delete entries for tape devices that are unavailable, removed, or turned off
- Use Plug-and-Play drivers for Windows 2000 and later

7.    Restart Backup Exec services.

 

Contact Symantec Technical Support for further assistance

If the preceding troubleshooting steps have still not yet alleviated your issue it is suggested that you contact technical support and create a formal support case.

 

Reference : http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH24414 Written by “Gregory Glass”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KRedd's picture

Thats very very Informative ...

Thanks a lot  Donald

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